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Berlin - Germany
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Under AI-driven capitalism human labor – across classes and contexts – seems to be gradually becoming extinct although it is in fact undergoing deep transformations. Thus, at the end of the day the task is to debunk the extinction myth and to inquire how it conceals the far-reaching restructuring of work. In other words, rather than buying into the myth of human labor as a fading reality, it is necessary to tackle labor as a buried reality that needs to be excavated from beneath dominant narratives and power structures. At this critical juncture, SILENT WORKS launches its intervention. Encompassing an exhibition, a conference, and a text series, the 2020 project is curated by journalists/researchers Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki and it will be realized by Berliner Gazette in cooperation with Haus der Statistik – two Berlin-based initiatives looking for alternatives to AI-driven capitalism.
  • Unboxing the Hidden Labor of Saving Lives and Saving Capitalism

    To maintain the Western phantasm that ‘capitalism is an intelligent computer,’ the hidden labor of those whose hands silently uphold it is framed as heroic. This promotes sacrificing oneself for ‘the (operating) system.’ In this SILENT WORKS interview Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki talk to Sydney-based scholar-activist Angela Mitropoulos about thinking labor in a different way.
  • Why the ‘Robotization of Care Work in Japan’ is a Misleading Myth

    While Japan is promoting robots in the care industry – from Human Support Robots to ‘emotional robots’ – the realities of human labor in this field are being blocked out. In this SILENT WORKS interview, Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki talk to social historian Eiji Oguma about how the ‘corona crisis’ reveals some discomforting truths about the ‘robotization of care work in Japan.’
  • Health Protection in Industry 4.0 and Human Labor as a Disruptive Factor

    Will governments and businesses use the ‘corona crisis’ as an opportunity to transform the economic system so that it meets human needs? Or will the shutdown be used to radicalize capitalism? In this SILENT WORKS interview, Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki talk to sociologist Kerstin Guhlemann, who conducts research on the interface between hospitality, Industry 4.0 and health protection.
  • Learning as Labor: Re-Inventing ‘the School’ Along the Lines of ‘the Factory’

    The COVID-19-induced security measures are, last but not least, about minimizing the risk that humans play for ‘frictionless capitalism.’ This means securitizing ‘our’ vulnerability and contagiousness. In this SILENT WORKS interview, Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki talk to Berlin-based critic Tom Holert about control practices at the interface between the factory and the school.
  • What the “Corona Crisis” Means for Mobile Laborers in India – and the World at Large

    India’s shutdown at the end of March was followed by an ‘exodus’ from cities like Delhi, where masses of day laborers and migrant workers were working and now had to return ‘home.’ Is this a mere sign of disaster? Or does it also signal an opportunity for social justice struggles? In this SILENT WORKS interview Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki talk to Chennai-based scientist Sujatha Byravan.
  • Capitalism’s System Error as “Disaster” and Opportunity for Labor Struggles

    Workers’ struggles play a special role during the ‘corona crisis.’ They bring to light that overcoming this crisis will depend on how the systemic errors of capitalism are countered. In this SILENT WORKS Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki ask scholar-activist Dario Azzellini: Will these errors just be corrected or will they provoke fundamental changes?
  • Why the “System Relevance” of Care Workers Can No Longer Be Denied

    The ‘corona crisis’ reveals that care workers play a particularly important role in post-industrial societies. In this SILENT WORKS interview Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki talk to the scholar-activist Christine Braunersreuther about why this is only now coming to light and what political consequences it could have.
  • Explosion of Authoritarianism and Labor Struggles in Italy’s “War on Corona”

    In Italy’s ‘war on corona’ authoritarianism as well as labor struggles are exploding. The latter brings to the fore the question of what and who is of systemic relevance, and hence "esstential" for overcoming the crisis and rebuilding the world afterward. Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki discuss this key issue of the SILENT WORKS project with scholar-activist Niccolò Cuppini.
  • How Invisibilized Work is Made Visible During the “Corona Crisis”

    In the corona crisis the invisibilized work of people who provide basic services is becoming more visible. Could this be an unexpected opportunity for labor struggles? Urban researcher Katja Schwaller is exploring this question, focusing in particular on those areas of society where Big Tech is taking over. A SILENT WORKS interview by Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki.
  • Working, Working Together, and Networking During the Web-Hype of the Pandemic

    In a critical moment in which entire populations are forced to avoid any potential exposure to contagion by pursuing isolated lives in online-only mode, the conditions of work are more uncertain than ever. In this SILENT WORKS essay Magdalena Taube and Krystian Woznicki inquire what we can do now. And how – along the way – we can debunk AI-driven capitalism’s myths.